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    Childhood Obesity Essay (689 words)

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    In today’s society Childhood Obesity Essay is considered to be an epidemic. Theincrease in obesity is not caused by the change in the gene pool, but rather bythe change in the environment. This causes vulnerable populations to express theobesity phenotype (Stune, 1999). One in seven children ages 6-17 are consideredto be obese.

    Most nutritionists will say that this is do to the lack of parentalguidance. A child’s parents should teach their child proper eating habits sothat they won’t run across problems in the future (Tomlin, 1999). According tothe article Facts about childhood Obesity and Overweightness, obese children arestatistically not active, and their diets are high in fats and low in energyfoods, like carbohydrates . Most doctors will calculate a child’s body massindex (BMI), to figure out just how overweight a child is.

    If a child’s BMI isover 30, they are considered obese. In order to calculate one’s BMI, you woulddivide the your weight in kilograms by the square of your height in meters (Mokdad,1999). What causes obesity? Weight gain among children is likely due to acombination of factors including: poor dietary habits, genetic makeup, familylifestyle, socioeconomic status, and a child’s ethnicity. Obesity is moreprevalent among Hispanic, African-American and American Indian children,particularly girls (Mayohealth.

    org 1997). Overweight children are notnecessarily overeaters. Unfortunately, much of the food they enjoy contains highamounts of calories. A child doesn’t have to eat huge quantities of food to puton excess weight.

    An extra 200 calories a day (the amount in four home-madechocolate chip cookies) can cause your child to gain almost one-half pound aweek (Miller 3). Childhood Obesity 3 Studies show that children’s excessiveconsumption of high-calorie soft drinks and fruit beverages may be adding to theproblem. The average teen drinks almost 65 gallons of soft drinks annually;school-age children have more than doubled their consumption of these beveragesin the past two decades. Children also eat a lot of fast-food, which tends to behigh in fat and calories (Miller 5).

    Inactivity most likely to blame Weightcontrol involves balancing food intake with the energy burned in everydayactivities. Although diet is a factor, low levels of physical activity may playa greater role in childhood obesity than eating lots of high-calorie food. Whyare children today less active? Many blame increased television viewing. Watching TV doesn’t require much energy and often is accompanied by snacking onhigh-calorie foods. The American Heart Association reports that, on average,children watch 17 hours of television a week. And that’s not counting the timespent playing video and computer games.

    One study found the odds of beingoverweight were nearly five times greater for youth watching more than fivehours of television per day compared with those who watched from zero to twohours per day (Mayohealth. org 1997). According to a 1996 U. S. Surgeon General’sreport on fitness, nearly half of young people ages 12 to 21 are not vigorouslyactive.

    The American College of Sports Medicine reports that, due to financialconstraints, only one-third of schools now offer physical education classes andmany children today find team sports too competitive or costly to join (Mayohealth. org1997). Childhood Obesity 4 Heredity has strong influence The risk of becomingobese is greatest among children who have two obese parents. Danish adoptionrecords provide a unique perspective on the issue of heredity versus environmentwhen studying obesity in children. Researchers studied 540 adopted Danishchildren, who are now adults.

    The scientists wanted to know if weights of thechildren were closer to their biological or adoptive parents. They found norelationship between the weight of the adoptive parents and adopted children. But there was a strong link between the weight of the adopted children and theirbiological parents, even though 90 percent of the children had been adoptedbefore the age of 1 (Miller 10). The researchers concluded that genetic factorsare important in determining obesity in adults.

    And when a genetic tendency iscombined with habits that promote weight gain, it’s more likely that a childwill be overweight. Important: If obesity is common in your family, pay extraattention to diet and exercise (Miller 11). Effects of Obesity Obesity as achild will lead to health problems in the future as one enters adulthood. Obesity is strongly linked to cardiovascular diseases and Diabetes.

    Thisdisorder also will cause some forms of cancer , hypertension, and alsoArthritis. Another consequence of obesity is the effects it has on .

    This essay was written by a fellow student. You may use it as a guide or sample for writing your own paper, but remember to cite it correctly. Don’t submit it as your own as it will be considered plagiarism.

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